Martial arts practitioners put on an impressive display at the weekend during an action-packed Karate Open Championships in Watamu, Kilifi County, that acted as a precursor to a global competition set to be held in March at the same place. The day-long event brought together at least 300 participants from 20 clubs across the country. The participants dueled in different categories ranging from the junior level, novice and seniors. In the senior male individual category, Kenya national team member Kimani Njathi won the gold medal with Andrew Odhiambo in second position while Aloice Amoko was third. \u201cThis event was a curtain raiser for a global event that we have planned for March next year, where several participants from different countries will descend on Watamu to take part in a Sports and Cultural Festival that would involve three Olympic sports - karate, judo and swimming,\u201d said event organiser Caleb Atemi who is also the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Kenya Chapter chairman. He added: \u201cThis weekend\u2019s Open Championship attracted 20 clubs from all over the country. Some of the clubs that sent representatives are NSSF, Kenya Police, Kenya Forest Service, Shotokan Ukunda Club, Mombasa Club and Thika Club just to mention a few. I can say the event was very successful and I was very impressed by the juniors who really showed a great urge and desire to learn and prosper in the sport.\u201d National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat, who was the chief guest at the event, encouraged more women to take up sports. \u201cDuring the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games, we took a team that comprised 55 per cent women athletes and we expect the number to increase. Sports is a big industry and every sports person should it very seriously,\u201d said Tergat.